Ferrari President Sergio Marchionne has admitted that the team were behind schedule in preparing their 2016 chassis as they put all their focus into developing the race winning SF15T which took three victories during the 2015 season.
Despite the delay in the chassis, Marchionne believes that Ferrari will mount a strong challenge to Mercedes dominance of Formula One.
Speaking about the threat that Mercedes pose this season, Marchionne commented by saying:
They are competitors to be afraid of because Mercedes is a company which the suitable financial resources to properly manage the races of 2016,
The Brackley based outfit won 16 of the 19 races last season on their way to their second consecutive Drivers and Constructors championship titles.
Marchionne who is good friends with Mercedes Chairman Dieter Zetsche believes that he had a touch of arrogance when the Silver Arrows started winning but he concedes that this changed when Ferrari got back to winning ways last season and he says:
They lost a bit of that but not too much because they won the championship. If you talk to him now, I think he now respects Ferrari a little bit more. The only way to get respect is to gain it on the track with results.
Ferrari head into the 2016 season with an unchanged pairing of Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel.